Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Are They Thinking?

I know that these decisions are made by many smart business men and women with MBAs up the ying yang who know a heck a lot more about marketing and retail store placement than I do (despite my BS in Marketing/Advertising), but I just have to ask. What the hell are the Barnes and Noble Powers That Be thinking?

They are moving all the freestanding stores to the mall. And these examples don't include my local B&N's recent move across the street to Oak Brook mall or the move scheduled in April by the B&N where my mother has worked for ten years to the mall a mile down the road. Everywhere I go, the cozy little all-by-itself B&N store has shut its doors in favor of the behemoth mall version close by.

Now, I'm sure this decision to do away with freestanding B&N stores in favor of attaching themselves to the new "shopping campuses" that are growing off the ends of all the malls these days has something to do with increasing foot traffic. In theory, people who go to the mall to buy other things or even just to wander around aimlessly as a part of the time honored American tradition of shopping-as-entertainment, will hopefully meander into the handy-dandy B&N and pick up a title or two. I mean, hey, you have an hour or six to kill. Might as well spend your money on a book as the latest useless gadget from Sharper Image or $50 tank top from Abercrombie and Fitch, right?

Except, what about those of us who...god, don't strike me dead...hate the mall? Those of us who would rather spend a Saturday afternoon getting a root canal over the prospect of negotiating mall traffic, gangs of teens, and the limited seating at the Food Court? If I have to go to the mall because I need something I simply cannot find anywhere else or need faster than I can get by ordering online, I park by the pertinent store, make my purchase, and escape as quickly as possible.

I already feel sorry for my daughter as she enters those tween and teen years because this is one mom who hates to shop. I'll drop her off at the mall, but I won't be cruising it with her.

So having the only B&N outlet located at the mall means...I won't go there.

To be fair, I did give it a shot.

Our B&N moved on November 11th. Yesterday, I decided to check out the new store - at the mall. I figured things wouldn't be that bad at noon on a Tuesday, as compared to any time on a Saturday or Sunday. Shored up with false optimism, I gritted my teeth and entered the mall parking lot. And I drove up one lane, looking for a parking spot. And then down another lane. And then up a third lane. And back down the first lane. After ten minutes of looking - and I'd reduced my location requirements down to simply being within visual distance of the store - I finally settled on the only parking spot left. I sludged about a quarter mile through ice-rain and mush. By the time I actually arrived at the door, I was freezing, wet, and beyond irritated.

And you know what? Only about 1% of the owners of all of those cars were actually shopping at B&N. The rest were at one of the gazillion other mall stores.

Yes, the new building is gorgeous, with a beautiful atrium that will let in all kinds of natural light when the sun actually shines. It's got two stories, lots of check out counters, and a huge Starbucks cafe. It has a music and movie section (the old store was too small), and everything is fresh and new and shiny. It's lovely.

Know what? I don't care. I won't go there because parking is such a god awful headache. When I want a book - for myself or a gift or just to browse because that's how I perform my shopping-as-entertainment ritual - I want to go to the bookstore. I don't want to go to the mall.

So, I'm going to tell my mother to let my B&N membership lapse when it comes due for renewal. She always renews it for me for my birthday, and I love the savings I get which at the very least pay the sales tax. I won't be needing it anymore.

I'll do my book shopping either online at Amazon or at the Borders across the street from the mall.

The Borders that is large, with plenty of check out counters and an extremely sufficient non-Starbucks cafe. The Borders with a movie and a music section, the Borders that isn't quite as new and shiny but is neat and well organized and always has the books I'm looking for.

The Borders with its very own expansive parking lot where I never have a problem parking, even at Christmas time. Sure, when it's a busy time of year I may have to walk a few extra parking rows to get to the building, but at least I understand because my fellow parkers are shopping at the same store as I am. They aren't parking there so they can catch the Midnight Madness sale at Macy's with a quick stop by Auntie Anne's for a cinnamon sugar pretzel.

The Borders that isn't at the mall.

I sure hope that casual mall walker who may or may not drop in to maybe or maybe not buy a book is worth losing my guaranteed sale when I come looking with a purpose. Because I won't be there.

I wonder if those B&N business geniuses took the course that talked about the concept of a bird in the hand being worth two in the bush?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Winner, Hands Down

I've seen all three. I've liked all three. But the winner, hands down, is Australia.

I enjoyed every single second of this movie. It's long, and it's full of cliches and archetype characters, including the mustache-twirling villain straight out of central casting. There really aren't any surprising plot twists, and you can pretty much predict what's going to happen from one moment to the next. I cried on cue, smiled on cue, sighed on cue.

But I don't care. This movie is pure crack for anyone who loves sweeping, epic love stories. It's a romance novel brought to the big screen.

To anyone not in the know, the story is pretty straight forward. Lady Sarah Ashley travels from England to Australia, where her husband runs a cattle station named Faraway Downs. When she gets there, she finds her husband has been murdered and the cattle station is in financial ruin. Her first plan is to sell the station and get right back home. But the station's corrupt and morally reprehensible manager pushes Lady Sarah's buttons, and she determines that she will see through the last cattle drive that could push the station back into the black.

She's helped by a cowboy known as The Drover. Sidebar to say, never in the entire 165 minutes of running time do we discover that this man's name is anything but The Drover. Together, Sarah and the Drover and a handful of ragtag station hands drive the cattle to Darwin. We meet a young half-white, half-Aboriginal boy named Nullah. Not only does Lady Sarah fall in love with the Drover, she also falls in love with Nullah. As did I. Because, dang, Hugh Jackman? And the boy, played by Brandon Walters, is as cute as all-get-out.

But things aren't so easy down under. The Drover is a wandering spirit who chafes at the idea of domestic permanence. After all, he's called The Drover, not Mow the Lawn Guy. And the Australian government has some sort of sadistic practice of taking half-caste children (half white/half black) away from their parents and sending them to mission orphanages where "the black is bred out of them". So Nullah is in constant danger of being snatched by the authorities.

Add to all of this the Japanese's impending attacks that everyone expects after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and getting to the HEA is not always a sure thing.

Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman are perfectly cast as The Drover and Lady Sarah Ashley. They had amazing chemistry together. In fact, my biggest complaint is that we didn't get to see near enough of them being in love. The movie is actually pretty chaste by today's standards. But I challenge any red-blooded hetero woman to deny that she seriously considered calling Qantas over the prospect that Australia is populated by men like Hugh Jackson/the Drover.

If you are in the mood to be told a wonderful story, I can't recommend this movie highly enough. The critics are claiming that it is far from original, but who the hell cares?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Twilight, the Movie

Well, the reviews for Twilight are pretty much as I expected. Rotten Tomatoes brings in a 44% fresh, which is the positive way of saying 56% rotten. But given the hype surrounding the movie which sets up a nearly unreachable bar, the fact that the story/movie is aimed at teenage girls who by default are given second class status as far as anything they like and value, and the truth that movie critics in general are cultural snobs, I'm not at all surprised by this.

I saw it this afternoon. I waited until the weekend rush was over, horrified by the prospect of sitting in a theater packed with teenage girls raised in the age when apparently public viewing venues differ from one's home only in the number of stalls in the bathroom given how much talking, texting, and general disregard for fellow movie viewers goes on. My patience was rewarded since I had the theater to myself save for a dozen other hold-outs, all of whom maintained both a respectful distance and a polite silence throughout the entire two hour film.

Before I share my thoughts about the movie, my Twilight pedigree. I bought Twilight shortly after the book came out, after reading some positive internet buzz and thinking it sounded like my kind of story. But I didn't read it right away. In fact, New Moon had already been released by the time I picked up my copy of the first book.

I admit it, I'm a mom of a certain age who fell absolutely in love with Bella and Edward's story as told in Twilight. I was ecstatic that I could immediately pick up the sequel because when I closed the cover of Twilight, I didn't want to leave that world behind.

New Moon was okay. Decent except that Edward was gone for so much of it. Not as good as Twilight, but it didn't suck. I waited (im)patiently for Eclipse, bought it as soon as possible after it was released, and dove in with great expectation. Sadly, it was then that the wheels fell off the bus. The characters I'd fallen in love with in Twilight had been replaced by doppelgangers of the worst sort, the soul-mates love story of Edward and Bella had been defiled, and I was left devastated that Meyer had taken such a tragically wrong turn with something I had loved so much.

It was with great - great - ambivalence that I purchased Breaking Dawn. I feared that I would hate it, but I longed for Meyer to make things right again in this last chapter of the story. Maybe BD would be so great, I could forget the mess that was Eclipse and view the whole thing as a trilogy with an unfortunate side trip into fantasy land.

I didn't even get all the way through Breaking Dawn.

So, I'm a Twilight fan. Not a Twilight series fan, but a fan of the first book. So I was really looking forward to seeing how the story would translate to the big screen. I wanted to like the movie, I didn't hold anything against the actors, director or screenwriters for the downward slide I thought the series had taken, and with that attitude in mind, I've completely ignored the critics and detractors. After all, I can make up my own mind what I do and don't like. I don't need to be condescended to by people who find themselves superior to me simply because they didn't fall under the spell of some pop culture phenomenon they don't understand. My attitude towards those with the tendency to bash Twilight (both book and movie) and those who like it - too bad for them, more for me.

And I did like it. Overall, I really enjoyed the movie. It had its faults, to be sure. But I was very pleased with the end results. In detail:

The Good
1. The cast. I think Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson are very well cast as Bella and Edward. They look much like I imagined the characters to look when reading the book. And I thought they acted as Bella and Edward were presented. Pattinson, especially, really captured Edward's inner struggle, doing a decent job expressing it without benefit of us seeing his point of view.

A quibble I do have is that Stewart is almost too humorless as Bella. No doubt she'll be able to absolutely nail Bella's incapacitating despondency after Edward leaves her in New Moon. But there is such a lack of joy around her that you have to wonder what would ever make her smile. Too, I didn't quite buy it when she told Edward on more than one occasion that she wasn't afraid of him. She always seemed too held-back for me to believe her words, as if she herself was saying them out loud but didn't quite feel them in her heart.

Billy Burke was excellent as Charlie Swan, Bella's father. The Cullens were all well cast physically, but since they got very little screen time and even less dialog, I can't comment on their acting ability. The secondary characters did what I wanted them to do - moved the story along but didn't detract from the main couple - so as far as I'm concerned, they were smashing successes.

2. The adaptation of the book. When a book I like is made into a movie, I want as few changes as possible. To this end, I think the movie was spot on. Nothing was left out that I missed, and the few changes added were necessary to explain aspects of the story. I do wish the Big Reveal and the meadow scene were depicted a little bit closer to the events in the book, but in the end, the result was the same.

The Bad
1. Okay, the makeup artists on this film should be fired. The Cullens are supposed to be pale, but they aren't supposed to look like they are wearing white grease paint. And that's what the actors looked like. There is a difference between pale skin and chalk-white skin. The latter would never go unnoticed and unremarked upon in any normal town, especially if every member of an entire family looked that way, so presenting the characters this way in the movie pretty much makes the entire population of Forks look really stupid and unaware. Perhaps they can improve the concept of "paleness" in New Moon. After all, they managed to make Bella look very fair-skinned without a thick layer of mime face.

2. Only one scene really bothered me. At the end, when Bella is in the hospital and Edward tells her that she should move away from Forks for her own good, Bella's reaction is awful. Or rather, Kristin Stewart's depiction of Bella's reaction is awful. She stutters and can't manage to form a complete, coherent sentence. But rather than coming off as if Bella is so upset by the prospect of being separated from Edward that she can't even speak, it seems more as if Stewart forgot her lines and is stammering her way through the scene. The Bella in Twilight the book would have been yelling, in full, emphatic sentences, that she can't - won't - be separated from Edward. This scene was the chance to show those who hadn't read all of the inner dialog from the book to get a true taste of how much Bella loves Edward. The whole scene was a blown opportunity.

3. The special effects were a little cheesy. But I give the movie a big pass on this given their limited budget. Too, in this day and age of Star Wars, Pixar, and action hero blockbusters, we've all come to expect the impossible out of our special effects. Not every movie has that kind of money to invest. I think the movie makers got the point across the best way they could, so I can ignore this problem.

I left the theater with a smile on my face, thoroughly satisfied. And I'll buy the DVD when it comes out, and most like see New Moon in the theater if it manages to maintain the same cast and production team (with better effects and better makeup). I don't regret a single penny of the $6 it cost me.

In the end, I think this movie is simply of the type that if you are a fan of the books, you will most likely enjoy the movie, despite its faults. And if you aren't a fan of the books or if you are completely ignorant about Twilight either because the books aren't directed at your demographic or because you are far too superior to stoop that low, then you won't like the movie regardless of the quality. This will be just another chance to jump on the snark train.

And in that case, do us all a favor and just stay home. We don't need you to suffer for our sakes.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Christmas Comes Early

So, how cool are the next

three weeks

going to be?

Honestly, I don't know which movie I'm most excited about. I loved -LOVED - Casino Royale. It turned me into a James Bond fan. Well, it turned me into a James Bond as played by Daniel Craig fan. I was already a Daniel Craig fan. But I can take or leave the other Bond movies, so I know I'm a band-wagoner. Sue me.

As for Twilight, I admit I'm still a bit bitter, which is dimming my enthusiasm for this movie somewhat. I'm still excited to see how the first book translates to the screen. This is a case where I'm hoping for a near-exact transfer from page to screen.

And Australia looks amazing. I love these grand, sweeping romantic epics. This reminds me so much of one of my all time favorite books, A Town Like Alice (the movie/miniseries is awesome as well). Too, it has one of my all time favorite themes - two completely different types of people falling in love. With Hugh Jackman as the rough cowboy drover, how can you go wrong?

My biggest problem is finding time to see all of these movies. My kids are a few years short of being able to stay alone at night while the hubby and I make a date of it. My son would love to see QoS, but by the previews, I'm judging it too violent. My daughter hasn't read Twilight - too young - so I'm thinking this one is a pass for her as well. And I'm probably the only person in the house with any interest in seeing Australia. Add to this our vacation plans which keep us away from home from Thanksgiving through the beginning of December and I'm kind of freaking. I'm one of those geeks who sees movies on opening weekend because I simply can't wait.

I feel like it's Christmas Eve for grownups!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

So Very Proud

Today, for the first time in a very long time, I feel so very proud of my country.

For the first time, in a very long time, I don't feel the need to apologize to the rest of the world.

As a nation, we've declared with our votes that the way things have been the past few years are not okay. That we want change. That we believe things can and will be better. That we are not apathetic or lazy or ignorant. It felt so good - wonderful - to be voting for a solution instead of voting against the intolerable.

I took my son with me when I went to vote. I told him what an important day it was. I let him stay up late to watch the returns come in and to see Obama's speech that took place in a park only fifteen short miles from our very house. He was so excited to be a part of history.

I am so grateful that my son has gotten to live this experience. I am so proud of my country for giving it to him.

Thank you, Mr. Obama. And congratulations!

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Making of Cougar Bait

So, this was the first year I followed American Idol. And what I want to know is if it's normal for contestants to go from this:

To this:

Yeah, I was a Cookie fan. From the moment David Cook chose and performed So Happy Together I was sold. Sure, I had eyes for Jason Castro as well (first time I ever found dreadlocks attractive), but it was always Cookie for the win.

And to be fair, his metamorphosis wasn't completely out of the blue. Early on, you could tell that beneath that out-of-control comb-forward lurked some amazing eyes and a gorgeous mouth.

He started showing his true potential mid-season once he got the hair out of his face.

Too, I think all of the stress and the insane schedule of being on Idol caused him to lose the tiny bit of softness that labeled him more "nerd" than "stud".

Add some wardrobe improvements, and by the end, he barely resembled the red faux-hawk sporting emo-dude from the auditions.

When he showed up on People Magazine's list of Single and Sexy Men of 2008, the decision was a no-brainer.
If Cookie's hotness journey is de rigueur for American Idol contestants, count me in for Season 8.

Friday, October 03, 2008

One Writer's Controversial Opinion is Another's Inspiration

My blogosphere world seems to be filled with discussions on whether or not it is impolitic (yes, the pun is intentional) for professional writers to discuss politics and their opinions on the subject via blogs and other publications. The topic stems from a post by John Scalzi over on his Whatever blog. Too, SmartBitch Sarah has some good follow-up and discussion, and Jordan Summers extends the question to any controversial topic, not just politics, over on Romancing the Blog.

I personally agree with Scalzi and SB Sarah that writers have no obligation to keep their opinions to themselves simply because they might offend a reader or potential reader. If you are able to express your thoughts intelligently and thoughtfully and refrain from name-calling and hating on those who disagree with you, you are welcome to tell me what you think. And I hope, in turn, you are willing to listen to my thoughts even if you completely disagree with every word I say.

However, I wonder if writers who express strong opinions might actually be doing a favor to other writers via imparting an unintentional education. There are positive side effects to writing about what you believe and why above and beyond perhaps convincing those who disagree to possibly change their minds.

I have certain beliefs and opinions given that I'm part of the living, breathing human race. And when I sit down to create a character, thinking about what thoughts, beliefs and opinions that particular character might have, my knee-jerk tendency is to have them fall into my own party line. Is my character pro-gun control or an NRA poster child? Does he believe in pro-choice or right-to-life? Is she in favor of the death penalty, does she believe that it's a school responsibility to discuss safe-sex or something that should be kept in the home, does she believe the US should stay the course in Iraq indefinitely or pull the troops back home ASAP? With every question I consider as I form my newborn character, I want to answer in what seems the most logical way based on my own belief system.

Which means that every single one of my characters thinks just like me. What a completely boring imaginary world!

In reading well-expressed viewpoints that differ from my own, I can find a way to give my characters opinions that fall outside my personal comfort zone. While I can't for the life of me understand someone who thinks that it's okay to allow people who aren't professional soldiers or police officers to carry guns around our streets, perhaps I might have the chance to read an articulately expressed opposing viewpoint that allows me to give my character the opinion that it's his god-given right to defend himself in any way he sees fit. I can place those writer's words in my character's brain, add them to his psychological makeup.

So I thank those writers who take the time to express their opinions in thoughtful ways. If a writer can make me stop and consider another viewpoint, they have helped me in my craft by giving me a tool I can apply when I have to think outside my small box.

The only time a writer expressing an opinion on a controversial topic will ever offend me enough to stop buying his or her work is if he/she implies that I'm in any way inferior because I don't hold that same opinion. I respect everyone's right to think and believe as they will as well as their right to express those beliefs. It's one of the attributes that I think makes America...well, America. But I expect to respected in turn, and only those who are so egocentric as to believe otherwise will turn me away from anything having to do with them.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Behaviour Unbecoming

As you may or may not be aware, Stephenie Meyer, author of the famous (or infamous) Twilight series, has recently issued a statement in the wake of an inexcusable leak of a portion of her current work in process, Midnight Sun. You can read Meyer’s statement here, but in a nutshell, she’s so frustrated over this betrayal she’s packing it up and going home.


Except. Not okay. And here’s why.

First of all, I admire Stephenie Meyer very much. With Twilight, she accomplished something that very few writers can stake claim to: as a first time novelist, she wrote a very entertaining story that gained the adoration of thousands, the attention of the national media, and launched what will hopefully be a long and successful career in the publishing industry. She deserves a lot of credit and respect for her hard work and her talent.

No doubt or debate, it is beyond heinous that some idiot thought to make him or herself bigger than they deserve by leaking intellectual property that he/she had been entrusted with. That person deserves to be punished to the farthest extent that the law allows. If he or she is an employee for Meyer’s agent or publishing house, Meyer would not be out of line to expect that this person not only lose his/her job, but that he/she be required to make a public apology and for evermore be blackballed from any creative industry. No question, she has been violated, and she has every right to be angry and hurt.

However, it is in such an unfortunate scenario where the line between amateur and professional becomes clear. And this is Meyer’s mistake: she seems unable to make the jump from amateur artist to professional writer.

Before anyone can argue, I know that, technically, she is a professional writer. She has made money from the act of writing, which puts her in the professional as opposed to amateur column. But it takes more than a paycheck to make someone a professional. And I think Meyer’s reaction to this situation demonstrates why.

Because Meyer’s reaction punishes no one but her fans, and instead of generating sympathy for the injury she has received, it makes her look like a diva throwing a temper tantrum. Professionals don’t throw temper tantrums.

Ultimately, I think Meyer has hurt feelings over the negative reception of Breaking Dawn. She was lauded. She was the next coming of JK Rowling. She was a media darling, and fans lined up to see her and to buy her book. Of course her last book would be an unqualified success. Except, it wasn’t. How does one process such a disappointment? She’d hit the summit only to discover what every famous person in the world has learned at some point or another – you are only as good as your last movie/TV show/book/Perez Hilton blog entry.

But because she hasn’t truly gone professional, Meyer’s not able to recover from this hugely public ego bruising. Instead of listening to her dissenters with an open mind, taking a second look at her story to see if maybe they have some valid points and then working to make herself better, she’s decided to stop playing altogether. This unfortunate leak simply gives her an opportunity to try to save face, but in the background, I’m hearing faint strains of “nobody likes me, everybody hates me, think I’ll go eat worms…”

Because in all of the backlash I’ve read about Breaking Dawn and Meyer’s subsequent reactions, not once have I read where she allows that maybe the thousands of dissenters have a point. She chalks up the very vocal disappointment to the “can’t please ‘em all” phenomenon. Granted, given that her hardcore fans would support her at the top of their lungs if she wrote 700 pages of telephone listings, it’s not surprising that she believes that her latest offering is, indeed, just fine the way it is, and it’s simply a matter of personal taste that so many people don’t like it. But if just as many people are crying foul as are having orgasms, you have to wonder if the fish hasn’t gone a bit off somewhere.

Some…okay, many…defend Meyer’s decision to cease writing Midnight Sun by claiming that Meyer owes no-one anything. She’s an artiste, and if she chooses to share her talents with the masses, we are blessed. If not, we should beat our breasts in despair and lavish praise infinitely until she deigns to allow us to buy her latest book.

I suppose this owes-us-nothing viewpoint might apply in the case of an unfinished work such as Midnight Sun. To this I would argue that with her decision to cease and desist with MS, she's at the very least guilty of severe teasing by openly promising the book and even sharing parts of it, inciting excitement for its imminent release only to change her mind, good reason or not. I can only imagine the rioting that would have gripped the world had JK Rowling decided to stop after HP6 because she got tired of fighting the leaks.

But those who believe that a writer owes nothing to his or her fans are misguided. A published writer makes a deal with a reader: you buy my book, and I will entertain you by telling you the best story I am able. It’s a business transaction, no different than negotiating a $40 cab fare to the airport and then expecting the cabbie to drive you there.

When Meyer decided to publish her story, she entered into that unspoken contract. Assuming one has bought all four of the Twilight books as they came out in hardback, a true Meyer fan has invested anything up to $80 plus on her books, not to mention countless hours of time reading the story. Meyer isn’t a charitable organization. She has been amply compensated for the gift she has bestowed upon the world. In turn, she’s expected to tell the best story she is able to tell. Whether she’s done this or not is a whole other blog entry.

Thing is, the reader is taking the riskier half of this proposition because once she has ponied over the cash, there is no guarantee that the book she’s purchased will deliver on the promise. Most readers understand the implied gamble of buying a book and are willing to take the risk because they know that liking or not liking a story includes a healthy dose of their own personal preferences and is out of the writer's hands. They understand that they have to do some of the work. But not all of it.

A professional writer has to understand that fans feel personally injured when they perceive that the pact they’ve made – I’ll buy your book and you will entertain me – has been violated. Since the reader cannot get her time nor, most likely, her money back, she feels entitled to express her disappointment. Loudly. And many do. Publishing in the twenty-first century is an interactive process. A writer has plenty of feedback to let her know what people liked and what they didn’t like. Sifting through the fluff and vitriol in order to find the gems that might be worth listening to is an art if not an outright act of masochism, to be sure.

As hard as it probably is to read bad reviews, I don't know that readers have any other way to express their opinions. Despite those who encourage returning a book that has proven disappointing, there is something ethically questionable about the practice of consuming a book and then demanding money back if you didn’t like it. I can’t imagine restaurants would accept the practice of patrons consuming a pricey dish, then insisting on a refund because when it was all finished, they didn’t like it so much. Best you can hope for is the chance to tell the chef how displeased you are. You can’t un-read a book just like you can't un-eat food. Sure, the bookstore can resell your returned copy if it is in saleable condition. But the whole thing reeks of the same underhandedness as wearing a prom dress and tucking the tags out of sight, then returning it to the store on Monday. I don't condone it, but I understand the frustration that might drive readers to take such action.

And so by taking her ball and going home, Meyer goes from being a person honestly wronged to a whiny victim. If she wanted to generate sympathy, she’d take this setback on the chin. For her fans’ sake, she’d work through her justifiable anger and frustration, refusing to let the scumbags keep her down. She’d soldier on and emerge a hero, one who persevered through the hard times rather than one who gave up and flounced away, wounded.

Another side affect of Meyer’s decision may or may not have occurred to her. I saw Midnight Sun as a chance for Meyer to redeem the Twilight series in my eyes. After reading the trainwreck that was Breaking Dawn, I had chalked up even my favorite book in the series – Twilight – as a tragic loss because my ignorant bliss of future happenings is long gone. Never again can I reread Twilight without knowing how off the rails it all would go. I’d hoped that starting fresh, via Edward’s point of view, I could maybe at least salvage Twilight as a favorite read and just pretend that everything after that never happened. I’d even resolved myself to the distasteful idea of buying another Meyer hardback after I’d already been scammed out of the cost of Eclipse and Breaking Dawn and swearing on a stack of bibles I’d never be so stupid again. Guess my money and my self-respect are now safe.

The only question I have is whether or not to go see the Twilight movie. I’d been so excited for it to arrive in November. In fact, Twilight was the one bright spot to get me through the dark tunnel that was WB’s cruel Harry Potter Six bait and switch. But now, I feel like if I see the movie, I’m doing the equivalent of a parent who buys the candy bar when their two year old lays down in the grocery store aisle and starts kicking and screaming at the top of his lungs. How can I support the pocketbook of a writer who I’ve lost a great deal of respect for? And as disappointed as I was in Breaking Dawn, it wasn’t until this Midnight Sun debacle that my respect for Meyer as a writer diminished.

I may not have liked the story she ultimately told, but at least I admired Meyer for telling it. Now she’s decided not to tell anyone anything anymore.